Jacksonville Jaguars  

 

Maurice Jones-Drew prepared for Jacksonville Jaguars holdout

Maurice Jones-Drew wants to be with the Jacksonville Jaguars, but he's prepared to hold out through training camp -- if not longer -- if the team won't restructure his contract, sources with knowledge of the situation said Thursday.

The running back didn't report to the team Thursday and could face $30,000 in daily fines during his holdout. Jones-Drew is willing to sacrifice the fines in order to get a new contract, a source said.

Jaguars owner Shad Khan said Wednesday the team doesn't plan to re-do the final two years and $9.4 million on Jones-Drew's contract, drawing an opposing line in the sand. Jaguars general manager Gene Smith said as much several weeks ago.

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The issue now seems to be if, or when, one side will blink.

Jones-Drew signed a five-year, $31 million, front-loaded contract in 2009, and at the time, it was considered a market-value deal. Since then, Jones-Drew has been arguably the most productive running back in the NFL, but he has seen the market change. Over the previous two seasons, Tennessee's Chris Johnson, Houston's Arian Foster, Chicago's Matt Forte, Minnesota's Adrian Peterson, Seattle's Marshawn Lynch, Philadelphia's LeSean McCoy and Baltimore's Ray Rice -- among the NFL's top running backs -- have signed deals that total more than $400 million.

Jones-Drew led the NFL in rushing last season with 1,606 yards and eight touchdowns for a five-win team -- a win total that's working for and against him, depending on perspective.

Despite Jones-Drew's production, the Jaguars won just five games, leaving it to argue that it can lose just fine without him. Then again, without Jones-Drew's offensive production last season, things could have been worse. Plus, he competed each week, well after the Jaguars were out of playoff contention.

Jones-Drew hasn't participated in any offseason activities with the Jaguars and is subject to $60,000 in fines for missing a mandatory minicamp. The Jaguars haven't said if they will enforce those fines. Jones-Drew is training in South Florida to be ready to report on short notice if progress on his contract is made.

Follow Steve Wyche on Twitter @wyche89.

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